It does make sense, but it doesn't change the fact that I like some of the new changes. You don't that's fair enough. I suspect we'll never change each other's minds over THAT :>
Force Drain - I hadn't realised it had been crippled that much. I understood why it's cost had been upped (to match the reductions in Heal, which was supposed to be it's counterpart), but by the sounds of it, the change was too much. What about this: The cost of Drain is dropped, even blow that of v1.02, but to compensate for this, the rate at which it drains force power out of an opponent is slowed as well. The result is it still costs the same to fully drain a person as it did in 1.02, but takes a little more time. This allows people with poor reflexes (like me) to react to the drain and activate absorb, move away, etc. but pumps Drain back up to useful levels?
You didn't say what the change to grip was? Does it do less damage? If so, then it should go up, but I do not feel that you should be able to wave people around as fast as you can (or could).
There are more factors in the auto defence than simply standing still - do you primarily use blue stance? If so that might explain your problem. Blue stance almost never knocks away an opponents saber, especially if they use yellow or red stance. I think blue is more a counter style than a true style (use it to whip blows under theirs befopre pulling back out, that kind of thing), and in that respect it is rather weak. blue style also fails to block even the most pathetic blows - a solid blow sends your saber well out of the way and leaves you open. Now there actually is some advantage to using a stronger stance over a weaker one, rtaher than just hitting harder. OTOH, the blocking factor is perhaps smidgen too high (but tweaking futher might send it too low, etc...*sigh*)
PS: I *HATE* Quake3 - thos changes actually sound like they might make it fun to play. :>
EDIT: Didn't see the last section - the backstab has had it damage upped to the point of one hit kill, THAT'S why it's used all the time, no other reason. The backswing (yellow/red) has also had upped damage, but the animation hits at several points in the arc - resulting in the first knocking the saber away, and the others hitting unopposed.